Well it was fine, but it wasn't Pantsman or a rapey octi-puss, was it? Usually The Apprentice
's advertising task is a lot more cringey than this.
6am, apparently, and Glenn gets a point back for the boys in Phone Wars. He's in a towel, which should be exciting, but my fridge must have switched itself on or off at the time because the picture on my recording is all pixelated. Does anyone else's digital signal do this? Pixellate when the fridge makes a noise? Anyway the recorded message telling him where to go actually sounds
like a recording this time, so the fact that he doesn't try to have a conversation with it makes more sense than usual. They're off to an advertising agency, which Glenn says is creative and therefore his day job - yeesh, have you not been paying attention to what happens to people who say it's their day job? Oh and for crying out loud, put some clothes on, The Actor Michael Sheen! At the ad agency, LdAlan can't be arsed turning up so he's on a big screen telling them to go off and make some pet food. Then Nick Hewer announces that LdAlan wants Glenn (Venture) and Spivvy (Logic) to be project managers. What, couldn't he have said that in the video message himbladdyself? You don't need to be buying extra screen time any more Nick, the Karren of Doom's powers have dissipated in the face of the Curse of Logic. Whom you are following this week. And Spivvy is PM. I mean, how much more do you want?
Brainstorming for a new dog food, Spivvy asks for ideas and then, obviously, talks over them. His recommendation is "Pals." Even I know there's already a dog food called "Pal" and I don't have a dog. The Actor Michael Sheen may or may not have a dog, but he has the stats to hand obviously, and knows it's the second-biggest brand. So maybe find something else eh? They go for "Every Dog," going against the focus group's suggestion that pet owners like to think theirs is unique. I mean, I know it's good to find a new angle but pet foods have names like "Felix" and "Cesar," there's probably a reason for this. But no, Spivvy and co will stick with "Every Dog" because they think it can be a brand like Easyjet and expand to "Every Cat," "Every Budgie," and "Every Jet."¹
Team Venture on the other hand can't understand why Glenn doesn't want to call their cat food "Lucky Fish." There's a goldfish, see, and it escaped being eaten by the cat because there was this nice cat food instead, so the fish was lucky! Which yes, is a fun little idea for an advert
, not the whole product. If a tin on a supermarket shelf needs a storyboard to tell you what it is, my hunch is people might not buy it. Zoe, Leon and the other one say the focus group liked it, because this is The Apprentice
, where consulting a focus group entails telling them your one idea until they relent and say it's sort of OK. Zoe attempts to drone this into Glenn but he's having none of it and goes for his own idea of "Catsize." Which is entirely based on bad puns and worse grammar, but is frankly the right thing to do because Lucky Fish is the biggest guaranteed loss I've seen for ages. Seriously, Zoe, Leon and the other one, have you forgotten who's judging this? "Lacky bladdy fish? Is it bladdy fish food? Is there a bladdy fish in it? You're a bladdy lunatic!" So the sniggering trio have to go with Glenn's idea as they cast cats for a commercial.² They reject an odd-looking Sphinx cat because, Leon's idea of a pitch meeting being to laugh in people's faces (see also: unnatural and horrifying makeup and spray-tans,) he thinks it "looks like a chicken." Zoe does actual facepalm. Later she drones at Glenn on the phone before "hanging up on him" in one of this year's trademark "we can't really be bothered making this look like it actually happened" edits.
Somewhere in the middle of this is the
most pointless Apprentice
task of all time: The teams conconcting the pet food recipes and putting them in tins. As if there's any alternate universe where the RSPCA would allow an actual
animal to eat something these dipshits cooked up.
Over on Fuzzy Logic's dog food set, Spivvy wants the dog to be "on all fours." Yes, moving on. He claims the four Ps of pitching are "product, place, promotion and price;"³ this being Spivvy we know the only four Ps he actually cares about are "my penis, my penis, my penis, my penis, oh please uncle Jesus one day can a real-live woman touch my penis." Anyway, Melody will be pitching, because we all remember the fixed smile Edna had to put on when she made the mistake of doing a pitch instead of Meldoy. Remember Edna? She's still in this show, apparently. For the soundtrack of their advert, The Actor Michael Sheen will be recording the sound of his own heartbeat for some reason. He'll do push-ups first to make it go faster. God he's weird. For Venture, Leon will be doing the pitch, the other one wants to make her vision clear, and Glenn's cast a male actor to play a female cat.
Shard porn! Yeesh, what is the show going to be like when that thing's actually finished? They'll probably have picture-in-picture just to remind you at all times that the Shard exists. Pitch time, and Melody "encourages" Spivvy by saying "Let's hope we win! First time for you!" I kind of love her, she's like a silent assassin. The creatives point out the whole "Everydog makes it sound like yours isn't unique" and Jim does his panicked starey eyes. Are his weird Jedi powers of persuasion entirely based on being built like a brick shithouse and therefore bullying people? Because when the least bit cornered this look of blind panic is his default response, it can't be that
they're all intimidated by. Leon's pitch is all panicked and fidgety but whatever, boardroom time!
LdAlan grumbles that according to the creatives both teams "played into the usual conventions." Yes, except the one that didn't, and are about to lose because of it. Yes, Venture had the better product (frankly its main flaw was horribly mangling the English language, and that's hardly going to bother LdAlan much; the actual packaging looked much more like a real pet food than the green tins Logic produced) so they get to go and knock around Pat Cash's balls. Oh, that's where Edna got to! Edna Smash! Logic had a better ad but a shit product so one of them (or more - ooh, spoilers!) is gonna get fired. Defending himself, Spivvy reminds LdAlan that before they knew they'd lost, Logic called him a good team leader. LdAlan, briefly realising that his job is hosting a game show, tells him "teams have a tendency to change their minds." Jim was dead keen on taking credit for the product name earlier, now it was everyone's doing, and he's doing panic eyes again. It's still
working, because LdAlan, Karen and Nick spend the next few minutes pretty much telling Spivvy to bring Jim into the firing line with him, while holding up placards with "bring Jim into the firing line" written on them, and performing an interpretative dance on the theme of "bringing Jim into the firing line." So Spivvy does not bring Jim into the firing line. He goes for Ellie who didn't seem to do much, and Natasha who made the commercial, i.e. the one thing they got praise for this week. People do this every time!
After pointing out the whole "scared of Jim" thing, LdAlan wants to know what's bladdy going on. Ellie knows dog food, apparently. Well it would explain her wet nose and glossy coat. Natasha gives good mixed metaphor with "Vincent's so far up Jim arse he can't see the wood for the trees." The mind boggles at the forestry that apparently thrives inside Jim's colon. But as mentioned earlier, Natasha was the only one on the team to do anything the creatives liked, so she's safe. But LdAlan hasn't seen much of Ellie, so she's bladdy fired. "OK," she replies, and goes off to sit in the cab and not give anything approaching a shit. But there's a Shock! Twist! like there is about this time every year! Yes it's a double firing, Spivvy is also fired for being, well, where to start? Ellie has already been ejected from the building when the leave the boardroom, so we don't see if Natasha would have given Ellie a taste of her own "I totally blanked her and I'm proud of it 'cause I'm so NORTHERN" medicine; she does say best of luck to Spivvy though. She doesn't add "you're gonna need it." She doesn't have to.
Back at the house, Glenn's in a vest, so that's nice. Natasha comes back on her own and, bless her, tries to take on Jim. (Silly Natasha - the time to do this is in front of LdAlan, there's no point here.) LdAlan not being there, Jim just tries to turn his panic eyes into scary evil eyes and turns them on her, saying "you were no better than me" in the task. No, I mean apart from the bit where she did something vaguely professional-looking and you did something everyone thought was shit, you were totally both about even there.
¹which would still be more reliable than RyanAir
²alliteration can be fun and educational!